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Sep 06 2012

Freesat launches new TV guide called <free time>Steve Hewlett interviews Emma Scott, managing director of Freesat, as the free to air satellite TV operator launches a new service called “<free time>”.

Well worth a listen if interested in Emma defending Freesat against a quite fiery Steve Hewlett (interview begins at 01:30 minutes, broadcasted on 5/9/12 at 16:30)

31 Responses to “BBC Radio 4 interview with Emma Scott about <free time>”

  1. Mark Aberfan Aerials Says:

    Hi Guys,

    Having listened to the interview I’m both impressed & unimpressed, I’m unimpressed with Steve Hewlett’s attitude & line of questions, it sounded like he was lobbying on Sky’s behalf & attacking freesat for doing well ! I’m also unimpressed with the BBC trusts restrictions imposed on Freesat but not on Freeview again its like its holding back Freesat for doing its job well.
    If, as Steve Hewlett appears to suggest Freesat isn’t needed due to Freeview & Youview, a lot of people outside the urban areas would be left with a choice of 16 odd freeview channels on Freeview lite relay transmitters like us in the South Wales Valleys or a big bill for a big new aerial rig to get a main transmitter which is often not even a option due to reception obstuctions etc.
    I was impressed with Emma Scott who put her case very well & did not roll over under the very biased anti Freesat attitude that Steve Hewlett was giving.
    Well done Emma ! thank god she could handle this hostile attack on our favourite platform.

    Mark Aberfan Aerials

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  2. Muzer Says:

    It’s called playing devil’s advocate; when the interviewee is good, it can make their case look stronger. It might NOT be that, of course (I haven’t yet listened to it); but don’t assume a person is against something just because they appear to be when they’re an interviewer.

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  3. Stuart Says:

    Emma gave a good response but she was clearly frustrated by Steve Hewlett – this was a pretty poor piece of journalism. There is taking a journalistic objective position, then there is an attack for the sake of attacking. I don’t think the programme was anti Freesat but more Steve trying to make a point that he can still attack the BBC whilst working for them.

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  4. Soldierboy 001 Says:

    I have just listened to the interview and was impressed with Emmas anwers. As a person who left Sky many years ago because if I wanted sport i.e. football I was forced to pay for chanels I would never watch I was guided to freesat due to the fact that I would at sometime be able to pay for some content without having to purchase a bundle I did not want any of, that is why I purchased a Humax FoxSat with card reader. Now someday this may happen but I get fed up of the people that keep saying “but it is called FreeSat”, well as Emma stated the core will be Free but if people want to pay and can not get Freeview with it’s card slot but can via FreeSat why not let them. It will NOT affect you people that do not want to subscribe but will bring customers to the platform everybody seems to want, SIMPLES.

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  5. Mark Aberfan Aerials Says:

    Muzer said: It’s called playing devil’s advocate; when the interviewee is good, it can make their case look stronger. It might NOT be that, of course (I haven’t yet listened to it); but don’t assume a person is against something just because they appear to be when they’re an interviewer.

    Hi Muzer,

    If that was the case, he went well over the top ! I would also add that I would hope that at my age I would hope that I could tell the differance !

    Mark Aberfan Aerials

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  6. Richard Crichton Says:

    I haven’t listened to the interview but he might have a point. No need for Freesat, Plenty of FTA boxes out there that get all the so called Freesat channels and non Freesat as well for people on Freeview Lite transmitters so how is that a justifiacation for Freesat’s existance? If you want to know whats on buy a TV guide magazine. It ain’t rocket science.

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  7. Chris Says:

    Hrrmph, no need for Freesat given Freeview and Youview??? I have no terrestrial reception and my broadband is 700kbps. Freeview and Youview are as irrelevant as sunblock in Blaenau Ffestiniog.

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  8. Richard Crichton Says:

    Chris said:
    Hrrmph, no need for Freesat given Freeview and Youview???I have no terrestrial reception and my broadband is 700kbps.Freeview and Youview are as irrelevant as sunblock in Blaenau Ffestiniog.

    Fine but that dosen’t mean you need Freesat as long as you can get satellite reception. The argument is why do you need Freesat. You can live without the pretty EPG by buying a paper or TV guide mag.
    BTW I am playing devils advocate here as I know why I need Freesat.

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  9. Chris Says:

    And have to keep up with frequency and transponder changes, and addition/deletion of channels…. Imagine the uproar if there wasn’t an auto-managed Freeview service and people had to tune in their TVs like they had to do for four analogue channels, at the rate that things change these days! Freesat is needed to provide equal and hindrance-free access to PSB for everyone regardless of where they live. (24 Olympics channels anyone?)

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  10. Chris Says:

    Likewise, there would be no need for Youview as all of the content is available in other ways….

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  11. admin Says:

    Remember that 99.9% of customers won’t be as technically minded on these kind of matters as those that visit sites such as this. As such, a straight forward TV guide with full listings is much better than now/next data and having to add/remove channels individually.

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  12. Mark Aberfan Aerials Says:

    admin said: Remember that 99.9% of customers won’t be as technically minded on these kind of matters as those that visit sites such as this. As such, a straight forward TV guide with full listings is much better than now/next data and having to add/remove channels individually.

    Hi Admin,

    Spot on, some of the local cowboys have been selling FTA boxes as freesat to their customers & this has resulted in me getting regular calls as channels go awol or their friend down the road has a new channel & they haven’t ! & they are getting fed up paying every couple months to have the channel list updated.

    Freesat in my opinion is essential to provide the public a good choice of channels & to provide a self updating platform with almost 100% coverage that dosen’t constantly try to screw every last pound out of its customers. ( or hack their phones !)

    Mark Aberfan Aerials

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  13. Link Says:

    The main point is basically the automatic addition/deletion of channels I think. I am no freesatter admittedly, I watch this site simply because channels which are added on Freesat might affect me as an expat. However, just to give an example: recently in Germany where I live the public channels (comparable to BBC) made a big HD launch. On May 1st several channels went to HD and what happened – as most people over here have simple Free-To-Air boxes they didn’t notice at all.. I often visit friends who have HD boxes and I am like.. “You do know ___ is now airing in HD?”. Only if you have a box by a big manufacturor like Technisat you might be lucky that your box gets a channel list which is maintained by them. Due to that: something like these 24 BBC Olympic channels.. unthinkable over here, noone would receive them. The HD channels I mentioned before.. I had to manually tune them into my parent’s set-top box… back then they had to actually modify transponder settings and such, an automatic search did not find them…

    The Freesat/Freeview (not counting Pay TV EPGs) system with an automatically managed channel list is much more user friendly there. In Germany it also exists in so-called HD+ receivers but those are like.. semi-free, you need to pay 50 Euros per year – if you stop paying: while you still get automatic channel lists, not paying results in multiple HD channels of your EPG not working anymore so it isn’t a particularly feasable option. (The free editions of these channels can be found somewhere in slot 11xx – so noone would find them)

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  14. Soldierboy 001 Says:

    There is one more benefit to Freesat that has not been mentioned that you can not get on a none Freesat box and that is one click recording for programms from the EPG and series record. And on this matter can anyone explain why when I do a series record it will do the whole series and that is it but other times when we get a new series that will record as well.
    P.S, Also time shift of recordings if the program start time is changed for any reason.

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  15. johnevans Says:

    could you please tell me when the 2 new music channels will come on freeset

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  16. Neil Says:

    I had a listen to Emma’s interview this morning. Steve did patronise her a bit but on the whole she defended the platform. Good to see she raised the point about freesat having more futureproofing over freeview in terms of HD expansion too.

    Steve, the two new music channels (Heart and Capital TV) launch on the 13th.

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  17. Karra Says:

    Neil said: Steve, the two new music channels (Heart and Capital TV) launch

    Overnights.tv have updated that the launch will now be on 27th of September 2012 and not the 13th of September as previously reported.

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  18. Richard Crichton Says:

    Karra said: Overnights.tv have updated that the launch will now be on 27th of September 2012 and not the 13th of September as previously reported.

    Hope they will play better music that their awful Borg radio stations but don’t suppose they will.

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  19. Richard Crichton Says:

    Personally I don’t think it will catch on due to the costly boxes and high costs unless broadband firms do a package deal for a free box with increased data like they are doing with Youview. There just isn’t enough on offer over Freesat Plus. I might be wrong though.Once you start getting into paying for content people will just opt for Sky with all it’s added bells and whistles.Sorry but that’s my opinion.

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  20. admin Says:

    Richard Crichton said:
    Personally I don’t think it will catch on due to the costly boxes and high costs unless broadband firms do a package deal for a free box with increased data like they are doing with Youview. There just isn’t enough on offer over Freesat Plus. I might be wrong though.Once you start getting into paying for content people will just opt for Sky with all it’s added bells and whistles.Sorry but that’s my opinion.

    but there might not be an option, prices (trade) suggest that these new G2 spec receivers will supersede the existing G1 range over the course of the next year or two.

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  21. Richard Crichton Says:

    admin said: but there might not be an option, prices (trade) suggest that these new G2 spec receivers will supersede the existing G1 range over the course of the next year or two.

    I’m not clear if Anytime will also apply to HD zappers or just PVR’s. Presumably it won’t apply to SD Zappers or won’t there be any?

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  22. admin Says:

    Richard Crichton said: I’m not clear if Anytime will also apply to HD zappers or just PVR’s. Presumably it won’t apply to SD Zappers or won’t there be any?

    You mean freetime :D

    Not sure about single tuner HD boxes but doesn’t seem likely there will be any SD boxes within the next 6-12 months.

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  23. Richard Crichton Says:

    admin said: You mean freetime
    Not sure about single tuner HD boxes but doesn’t seem likely there will be any SD boxes within the next 6-12 months.

    Not good if you want to buy a box in the local Asda as a impulse buy then. They only sell a SD box at £35. I suppose Freeview boxes will disappear over the next few years though which might help Freesat. I think it would be a big mistake to stop making a basic Freesat box.

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  24. kevin ver1 Says:

    Richard Crichton said: Not good if you want to buy a box in the local Asda as a impulse buy then. They only sell a SD box at £35. I suppose Freeview boxes will disappear over the next few years though which might help Freesat. I think it would be a big mistake to stop making a basic Freesat box.

    I would expect it costs more or less the same to produce a HD box than a SD box.

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  25. Richard Crichton Says:

    kevin ver1 said: I would expect it costs more or less the same to produce a HD box than a SD box.

    I haven’t seen any HD boxes at £35. Why not if what you say is true.

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  26. Wispy Says:

    Re mark aberfan aerials @ 12 .Not just your local cowboys selling FTA boxes as Freesat, Tesco Direct are selling the Amiko HD USB PVR as a Freesat receiver via Maplin. The Amiko brand name does not appear on Maplin’s website but they are selling the Alma S2100CX FTA HD USB PVR receiver, which appears to be identical, stating clearly that it is not Freesat approved. Anyone buying this from Tesco Direct without first looking at Maplin’s website would only find out it is FTA and not Freesat approved on receipt of the box. That’s assuming they knew the difference.

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  27. kevin ver1 Says:

    Richard Crichton said: I haven’t seen any HD boxes at £35. Why not if what you say is true.

    A manufacturer can only make a profit on a SD box if they can sell in sufficient quantities. If they only sell for £35 the margins must be minimal. I can only think of two components which cost more in manufacturing a HD box, the HD receiver and the HDMI socket. It would not surprise me if the difference in cost is only marginal. As HD boxes sell for significantly higher prices SD boxes are likely to become history.

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  28. conor Says:

    freesat needs more HD channels eg film 4 and channel 5 hd that would drive freesat sales forward and a sports channel also on the platform needs to be fixed asap and all the HD channel have to be put side by side eg 101 102 103 104 105 HD on freesat hd boxes only by a software up grade over the air and if freesat get film4 hd that is channel 300 on hd boxes only and if more come eg ITV 1 2 3 4 hd on same epg numbers would love to hear more on this and any new channel coming to freesat need a better incentive to be only in hd not sd and for others to go hd also eg five usa

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  29. admin Says:

    conor said:
    freesat needs more HD channels eg film 4 and channel 5 hd that would drive freesat sales forward and a sports channel also on the platform needs to be fixed asap and all the HD channel have to be put side by side eg 101 102 103 104 105 HD on freesat hd boxes only by a software up grade over the air and if freesat get film4 hd that is channel 300 on hd boxes only and if more come eg ITV 1 2 3 4 hd on same epg numbers would love to hear more on this and any new channel coming to freesat need a better incentive to be only in hd not sd and for others to go hd also eg five usa

    Every comment you make is exactly the same, more HD channels, dedicated sports channel etc. Don’t you get bored with typing this?

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  30. alexander Says:

    one way to encourage more HD channels to freesat is to issue FTV cards for the receivers that will accept cams. this might cover any broadcasting rights of programes being received in france or holland.

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  31. Paul Says:

    Hi, I currently have Sky but have just cancelled due to cost. I am now faced with 2 choices:

    Freeview HD or Freesat HD.

    My requirements:
    Zero monthly cost (hence BT Vision not a contender)
    Free to record (Sky FTV out the window then – despite having a box I paid £200 for and that is technically capable – not willing to pay £10 per month to record).
    Reliable reception (I live bang in-between Hannington and Crystal palace so my signal is weak(ish) and I would need an aerial upgrade costing £150 as my current aerial is in the loft)
    The most choice of channels today (Freeview wins here as it has Dave, Quest, Film 4, Yesterday)
    Bandwidth to have lots of HD channels in a year or two (Freeview out the window then)
    Iplayer catch up (all products good here)

    So there we have it. None of the offerings fit the bill.

    Freeview:
    I would need to invest £350+ for Freeview (incl. Aerial u/g + box and even then in 3 years I will not be getting many new HD channels due to bandwidth limitations. This for me is the major flaw with freeview as it stands.

    Freesat:
    Channel line-up is poor today (no Dave, Yesterday as on freeview
    Should be made to carry same channels as Freeview
    £300 for new box

    Sky FTV
    Box already paid for!!
    Will not pay £10 a month for recording feature to be uncrippled
    No sky news
    Poor channel line up (no Dave etc.)

    I am sure I am not alone in this dilemma. My case is probably quite common but I have been let down by government at the end of the day.

    In hindsight I think they should have invested in a free satellite platform more and never bothered with freeview as the bandwidth will always be a major issue. Yes they may cram a few more channels in but they will never be as HD as they could be should they do this.

    I think they could have done a deal with sky to allow FTV to record for no additional subscription cost. Maybe threaten to remove BBC from Sky!

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